The word “Interac” is a very popular one amongst Canadians. It’s a word that is synonymous with “debit card”. That, of course, is because Interac is the name of the company that is well known for introducing and popularizing debit card payments. The use of Interac cards in Canada is a daily occurrence for most people. For decades, these debit cards have proven to be among the most convenient ways to pay for purchases.

According to Interac’s website, there were nearly 29 million debit cards in active use across Canada in 2017. Remember that Canada’s population is just north of 35 million people! Interac Debit, insists the company, is “the darling of Canadians’ wallets”.

“When shoppers pay with a card, they use debit 56 per cent of the time,” reports, “Businesses have clearly taken note of this popularity; more than 461,000 merchants currently accept debit, and over 240K accept Interac Flash, the contactless enhancement of Interac Debit, so if you’re not one of them, it may be time to talk to a payment services provider.”

The history of Interac is a tale of two different companies.

Interac’s site reports that the provision of debit cards was once offered by both Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation. The former was a cooperative venture by a number of Canada’s major financial institutions, founded in 1984. The objective of Interac Association was to give Canadians broader access to their money through a single shared network. The products included Interac® Cash, Interac Debit and Interac Flash®

Acxsys Corporation was launched in 1996 by eight financial institutions. Together, they built the Interac network to develop new business partnerships and services. They included Interac e-Transfer®, Interac Online, mobile payment solutions and international services. In 2018, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation merged into Interac Corp.

The partnership’s new brand brought all Interac-branded products and services together under one company. “As a single corporate entity, Interac Corp. is better able to fund innovation, while at the same time reducing certain business, operating and legal complexities,” notes

Interac simply makes payments easier.

All across Canada, consumers use Interac cards to process quick and easy payments for their purchases. With 4-digit PIN codes, completing purchases is often much quicker than fumbling through wallets and pockets for cash and loose change. However, with constantly-updated innovations, Interac has made the process of paying for purchases easier than ever. Today, people can simply tap their cards to make contactless payments within seconds.

“Products such as Interac Flash simplify the payment process,” reports Interac, “Customers hold their cards or mobile wallet against a reader and the transaction is either accepted or if a spend or cumulative limit is reached, the cardholder will be asked to insert their card instead. With a contactless debit card, there’s no more fumbling with change or bills. Instead, there’s just easy, speedy customer service, allowing you to cater to more customers.”

Do you accept Interac in your store?

At Unity Payments, we believe that the easiest and most convenient way for merchants to accept debit cards is with the Poynt Smart Terminal. It’s the world’s first “smart” terminal and it has revolutionized the ways in which businesses accept payments for purchases. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-661-3761. You may also email us at